Thursday, December 29, 2016

She made a cake and is going back to France

Another of our research associated have finished the fellowship. So we celebrated the departure with a homemade cake and a few parting gifts.
She's leaving but she made the cake!

Bundt style and looking pretty good!
The cake was a circular bundt type cake.  It was a little experimental in that the cake dough was vanilla/white but our baker wanted to do something with cranberries so she added a cranberry jam type filling.  It was covered with a simple sugar syrup frosting and some decorative colored sprinkles. We thought it tasted good, that the cranberries work and did not even notice so much that the dough didn't really rise.  This was pointed out by the creator but we assured her that we hardly noticed.
Nice circular form!
A little sugar frosting with a dash of color!
The cranberries were good but the cake didn't rise - not that we cared!
Then we did our usual Brown clothing makeover.  We settled for a more feminine color and the duds were well received.  Brown now has a coffee cup with the name speed by elements of the periodic table.  We like this and so now feature it also as a parting gift to commemorate coffee hour and to keep them in the spirit when they return home!
Another successful makeover- we like the cup!
With the mentor!
And the colleagues say farewell!
Same group with one difference!
And the obligatory 10 second final shot!

Au revoir, notre amie!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A colleague says thanks with a treat from Pastiche

This is the final week for one of our research fellows from La France.  As we approach the end of her stay a colleague signed up for cake hour and brought a lovely fruit tart from Pastiche with a message of gratitude.
Cake Hour Gothic!
Another treat from Pastiche that is also a visual treat!

Always on a bed of great homemade crust.
If you have read any of this blog you know the deal with Pastiche - they do an incredible job.  This flan was not different. We have had a number of them but each one is different depending on the type of fruit they use or is available.  This one had a lot of the standards - berries and kiwi - but the added touch was the blood orange or red grapefruit used for the outermost and innermost circle.  Some thought it was red grapefruit but my tastes deemed it too sweet for grapefruit.
Special message on the top with a white chocolate slate!

The pastry cream is always just right!
Nonetheless it was the usual delicious tart with the great crust and the not too sweet pastry cream for the base.  Thanks to the colleague who wanted to thank his colleague for bringing in the much appreciated treat.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Nothing like a Boston Coffee Cake

We have seen these before..Boston Coffee Cakes...and today it was the classic cinnamon walnut! This is always great to have.  It is always moist, not full of sugar with a good amount of cinnamon. It is a particular favorite of our Japanese colleagues. As they would say...oishii!!

Always a good and popular choice.
This particular one is the all time classic.
Traditional shape!
View from above!
Cinnamon sugar and nuts top it off!
With a vein of cinnamon throughout.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holiday cheesecake

We haven't had one of these for awhile - a good New York style cheesecake courtesy of the Vienna Bakery in Barrington, RI.  This was the good dense cheesecake that is legendary for the Big Apple. It was not one of those lighter mousse types that are also good.  Crushed graham cracker base, ample and thick cheesecake layer with some kind of fruit on top. This particular type is favored by some of our foreign colleagues.
We know it'll be good!

Not seen in a bit - a New York Cheesecake!
The classic construction - graham base, cake layer and then fruit.
Rather than have a single type of fruit on top the Vienna goes with a fruit design or crown made of slices of fresh fruit like you see in a fruit tart or flan.  This time they went with strawberries, pineapple, orange slices and blueberries. 
Crown of fresh fruit on top!
Nice colorful selection!
Just about everything from the Vienna is always good and fresh and this, of course, was no exception. The cake was good and dense and not too heavy nor not to sweet. 
Thick and dense cake layer.

The fresh fruit made for a nice complement to the dairy based cake. Once again the Vienna bakery comes through and our appreciation of a good cheesecake was renewed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two days of very good leftover cake

Two nights ago was our Gastroenterology Division Holiday Party at the restaurant CAV.  CAV has been doing this for us since 1999, as many know, and they do an incredible job.  The decor is perfect for the holidays, the food is always good and we have Christmas caroling to boot ending with the copyrighted "Round the World" Silent night. Dessert is always a chocolate cake of rather abundant size served with champagne.  
The cake before we dug in!
This year the cake was remarkable...which is expected.  It always looks good with the frosting, the inscription, the chocolate covered fruit and dark chocolate shards. It was also delicious.  Despite its looks this is a pretty light cake.  The frosting is mousse based, and the cake itself is not heavy at all. It goes great with the champagne and is a great ending to a copious meal.  There are always leftovers to boot and yesterday and today we worked on finishing them off.
What was left at the end of the night!
Four good size layers but not heavy at all.
Nothing more to be said about the cake except that after two days it was still damn good and made for a couple of easy cakehours.  Happy Holidays to all!
The remains about to be finished off after two days.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The holiday are coming and it's Glühwein time again!

Every year as the Holiday Season proceeds, we have our own little celebration in the lab. It features homemade Glühwein or mulled wine. This is what is served to great popularity at all the Christmas markets in Germany. If you are at one of these markets and suddenly encounter a big group of are near a Glühwein stand.
All set to go with the Glühwein!!
This year we started with a Merlot!
In addition to the wine we usually feature some holiday baked goods that go with it.  I had returned the previous week from a trip to Germany where many of the markets were visited including those in Munich - actually several in Munich - Kornwestheim, Ludwigsburg, Düsseldorf and several in Berlin. It was quite a trip across the country!

Traditional treats from Germany!

Mandel or almond Stollen carried on the plane from Germany

The goodies that came back included a Mandelstollen or Almond Stollen. (Stollen is the traditional German Christmas Bread made most famous in Dresden.) Also for the first time we had a Baumkuchen or tree cake.  This is a cylindrical cake baked on a spit with successive layers of batter being added. Each layer is allowed to cook before another is added.  After finished when it is cut, it looks like the growth rings of a tree trunk hence the name. This one we got was made by hand at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin and is dark chocolate frosted.

Dark chocolate covered Baumkuchen or tree cake!
We also had some Zimtsterne or Cinnamon Stars - a classic German Christmas cookie and finally some meringue cookies made by one of our co-workers.  

Zimtsterne - another classic!

And some Meringue cookies!
Ready to give it a try!
And the Glühwein starts to flow!
Ready for a glow!
The Glühwein, which is mulled with cinnamon, cloves and orange among a few other things, was served as usual - warm with a ring of sugar around the rim of the cup and a wedge or orange.  As is always the case - the whole event was very well received.
Happy Holidays